Societies often maintain a genealogical file for historical families of the area or for ancestors of society members. Most genealogical societies focus on local and regional records, while others concentrate on the records and migrations of ethic groups or minorities.
Societies may guide you to useful sources, suggest avenues of research, put you in touch with other genealogists who are interested in the same families, or perform research for you. The resources of the society may help determine immigrant origins. Genealogical and historical societies may publish transcriptions of original records, and many publish quarterly periodicals.
Some genealogical and historical societies hold conferences in which lecturers discuss genealogical research methods, available sources, and other topics. These lectures include information on records or research. Transcripts, audio tapes, and conference class outlines are often available to the public.
Lineage and Heritage Societies
Lineage societies, such as the DAR, Colonial Dames, and the Sons of the American Revolution, require members to prove they are descended from people such as colonists or soldiers. The applications for membership in these societies are usually preserved and occasionally published. National lineage societies are described in United States Societies.
A few national lineage societies have chapters in Vermont:
Vermont State Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) The DAR preserves historical records and promotes education. The following sources are available for DAR records of Vermont:
- Daughters of the American Revolution (Vermont). Vermont Miscellaneous Records. 20 Volumes. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1952. (Family History Library films 027742–47.) These are Vermont records of Bible, church, and cemetery records; 1850 and 1860 census mortality schedule abstracts; town, vital, and family records; deeds; Revolutionary War records; lineage records; school records; some wills; and tax lists. Each volume is individually indexed.
- Hinman, Alice A.. Vermont State Conference, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1892–1930. Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle, 1931. (Family History Library book 974.3 C4h.) This source contains detailed biographical information on the members and includes genealogical facts.
Learn more about the DAR.
Society of Colonial Wars (Vermont) The following sources are available for this chapter:
- Allen, Charles Edwin, The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Vermont. Burlington, Vermont: Free Press Printing, 1906. (Family History Library book 974.3 C4cw.) Digital version at Google Books. This book lists the officers, member claims, and member biographies.
- Society of Colonial Wars. General Register of the Society of Colonial Wars: Constitution, Officers, Members 1903-1906. Boston : General Council, Society of Colonial wars, 1906. Digital version at Google Books.
- Society of Colonial Wars (Vermont). Society of Colonial Wars in Vermont: Officers, Committees and Members. Three Volumes. Burlington, Vermont: Free Press Printing, 1909–1922. (Family History Library book 974.3 C4cwc; film 1673335, items5–6.) This contains biographical and genealogical information of members.
Vermont Society of Sons of the American Revolution This society's newsletter, The Vermont Patriot, is available on their website.
Genealogical and Historical Societies
Genealogical and historical societies can provide historical information about families in the area or ancestors of society members.
Genealogical Society of Vermont
P.O. Box 14
Randolph, Vermont 05060-0014
Founded in 1971, GSV is dedicated to assisting genealogists with Vermont research. They publish a quarterly journal, Vermont Genealogy, which contains genealogies, source records, and book reviews.
Vermont Historical Society
60 Washington Street
Barre, VT 05641
The largest historical society in the state, VHS collects family histories, published vital records, cemetery inscriptions, town histories, and military and biographical information. Their holdings include a large manuscript collection, letters, diaries, and account books.
VHS offers an online list of local historical societies, which often have records related to family history. This list provides addresses, phone numbers, collection description, contact information, hours, and admission fees. To learn more about the resources at VHS, see Vermont Historical Society.
New England Historic Genealogical Society Library
99–101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007
Founded in 1845, it is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and publication of materials relating to family and local history. There is a large section of both books and microfilm devoted entirely to Vermont records. Learn more.
Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society
PO Box 65128
Burlington, Vermont 05406-5128
Founded in 1996, they publish Links, a semiannual journal. They have a library and research facilities at Dupont Hall at the Fort Ethan Allen complex, Colchester, Vermont.
Family Associations and Surname Societies
Family associations and surname societies have been organized to gather information about ancestors or descendants of specific individuals or families. See United States Societies for a directory and more information about these societies.
Clubs or Other Organizations
Clubs or occupational or fraternal organizations may have existed in the area where your ancestor lived. Those societies may have kept records of members or applications that may be of genealogical or biographical value. Though many of the old records have been lost, some have been donated to local, regional, or state archives and libraries.
Public librarians and county clerks may be aware of other local organizations or individuals you can contact for information and services. In many small communities, the elderly are a wonderful resource for history and memories. Some maintain scrapbooks of obituaries and events in the community.